Presenting simple yet ingenious medleys of alternative pop along with artful indie rock substantiated by a resourceful string section, A Northern Chorus' conceptions seem to flow, aided by the cyclic choruses of their songs. Following the dissolution of their previous outfit, Datura Dream Defered, guitarist and vocalist Stu Livingstone, alongside Pete Hall (guitar, vocals), decided to form A Northern Chorus in 1999. During more than a year, the duo prepared and composed several compositions, prior to the additions of drummer Dan Jagt and bassist Mark Raymond. Continuously improving their songwriting abilities, the following year they added the craftsmanship of violinist Erin Aurich, which proved to be the missing piece for the band's conceptual work. The Canadian quintet then entered the studio to record their first disc, Before We All Go to Pieces, issued in 2001. A Northern Chorus then left extended tour, performing several concerts in Canada and in the U.S. Following this jaunt, the band welcomed a new rhythm section in percussionist Marshall Bureau and bassist Owen Davies, and set to planning out its next album. Recorded at Mount Fairview Sound in Dundas, Ontario, Spirit Flags was issued by the Canadian indie Sonic Unyon in May 2003. Joining Livingstone, Hall, Bureau, and Davies on the album were flautist Julie MacDonald, and Sarah MacGregor on violin and violo.